Are there any other woodworkers or designers in your family?
My uncle does woodworking. My dad did a lot of DIY stuff and had hobbies like train models, gliders, remote controlled cars, etc. He read a lot of books and was into weird sub-culture or trivia like a giraffe only sleeps 20 mins a day or licking a stamp is consuming 0.1 calories etc. My mom did a lot of ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement and other hobbies as well. My older brother is a computer engineer in Osaka and my younger brother is an architect in Tokyo. My family is the biggest inspiration. I realized what I do and what I want to do is to make my family proud. I want to create something that makes my family proud.
Your girlfriend Rachel Denkers is a talented fashion designer known for her intricate knit leather work. Wood and leather compliment each other so well. Have you two ever collaborated on either a fashion or furniture project?
Yes! in fact, we are designing chairs and bed frames together, right now. There are a lot of ideas we have that we want to make into reality. we are working on it ;)
Your work blends decorative Japanese woodworking techniques with very West Coast mid-century lines. Who is your number one 50s design inspiration and your biggest Japanese design hero?
50's Finn Juhl always comes to my mind. It's obvious but I can't skip Sori Yanagi, Noguchi Isamu, Riki Watanabe for Japanese MCM designers. Makio Hasuike, Nendo, Maruni, Truck, Masayuki Kurokawa..sorry pretty obvious popular big names. It's like asking musician what bands you like and I'm answering I like Beatles, Stones and Nirvana but you know there is a reason why it's popular i guess. Not product/furniture designers but I also like art by Marisol Escobar, and reading books a lot in Japanese (since its faster for me) I also spend a lot of time watching sports too. I like hanging out with friends, looking at pigeons eat bread crumbs, watching security guards act like they own the place, cooking, eating ice cream twice a day, early Jackie Chan movies, friends and families. it comes down to that and it's simple. I don't wanna sound cheesy and preaching but good furniture it seems to me is timeless and long lasting, passed on from parents to kids part of their daily lives. I try to keep it simple, that doesn't go out of style.